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Sutherland/Watson Within Striking Distance Going To Final Day At U.S. Senior Open

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The greens will be between 12.5 and 13 on the Stimpmeter, used to gauge how fast a ball rolls on a green.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Jeff Maggert bogeyed the final hole of Saturday's third round to fall back into a two-way tie with Bernhard Langer.

A gaggle of players -eight- is a stroke back. They include Kenny Perry, who shot a 6-under 28 on his first nine holes to move to 4-under par for the tournament.

Tom Watson ended the day with an 18-foot, right-to-left-breaking putt on the 18th to stay at 4-under par.

"It was a struggling day for me today," Watson said. "The last two putts kept me in it."

When asked if he was fatigued halfway through his round after three bogeys in four holes, Watson made light of it, "What? Do you think I'm old?"  If he wins the tournament at age 65, he would be the oldest ever to win a major on the Champions Tour.

Sacramento-native Kevin Sutherland is one shot back at 3-under par.  He talked after his round about the "home-course advantage" he was supposed to have. He grew up about 300-yards from Del Paso Country Club's front gate.

"I've had to kind of relearn this place a little bit. I've hit a lot of different irons into par 3s that I've never hit before. Some of it's because they moved the tees up and back a little bit, but also because you've got a little bit of adrenaline and the greens are a lot firmer than we normally see, so the ball's bouncing a little bit, so you're playing more for a bounce. So on the par 3s, I've had to like -- I hit an 8 iron yesterday on No. 2 that I've never hit an 8 iron to."

Perry says the United States Golf Association has done a good job making the players compete shot-for-shot.

"You've got to hit quality golf shots. You've got to put it in certain areas on the greens, certain quadrants to give yourself chances to make birdies. But the short holes are really short out here, and the long holes are really long. So you look at 9 and 10, very short holes. 11's not a long hole. 12's a short par 3, which I think that will bring a lot of the players into the -- we kind of play in there, keep us closer together. Then you've got a couple of really long par 3s, and then the 16's really long, 18's a tough hole, 3's an unbelievable par 4. It's kind of a mix out there that I really think has kind of kept us pretty close together."

Sutherland says a round like Perry's will be needed Sunday to win.

 "Yesterday (Friday) was a disappointing day. Today, I felt like even par was probably about what I deserved. Yesterday, I let that round get away from me. I played a lot of really good golf yesterday," Sutherland said. "If I can get rid of the mistakes and play like I did yesterday, I can shoot a 5 or 6 under out there."

For all of the scoring on Saturday, click here.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob is the Sacramento Region Reporter. He has been at the forefront of the coverage of the Sacramento Kings' saga and the effort to build a new arena in Sacramento. He also covers education, business, environment, and sports stories.   Read Full Bio